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Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Aleksandrovna Kuznetsova (born June 27, 1985) is a Russian professional tennis player.
Kuznetsova was born in Leningrad, Russia (now St. Petersburg, Russia). Her father Alexandr Kuznetsov has coached five Olympic and world cycling champions. Her father's protégés include her mother, Galina Tsareva, a six-time world champion and holder of 20 world records, and Svetlana’s brother, Nikolai Kuznetsov, a silver medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Kuznetsova also tried out cycling in her early years, but it bored her. She focused on tennis instead and was sent to Spain when she was 15 years old for better training and coaching. Kuznetsova is a very good mover on court and plays mainly from the baseline. Her strongest shot is her heavy forehand. Kuznetsova won her only Grand Slam singles title at the 2004 U.S. Open, where she defeated countrywoman Elena Dementieva in straight sets in an all-Russian final (the second in history after the Anastasia Myskina-Dementieva final at the French Open of the same year).
Kuznetsova is a frequent doubles player and has been ranked as high as third in the world (January 2005). Kuznetsova teamed with Australia's Alicia Molik to win the 2005 Australian Open, defeating Americans Lindsay Davenport and Corina Morariu in the final. Kuznetsova has reached five other Grand Slam doubles finals, with Martina Navratilova, Elena Likhovtseva, and Amélie Mauresmo as her partners. A year after winning the 2004 U.S. Open, Kuznetsova became the first female defending champion during the open era to lose in the first round. She lost to Ekaterina Bychkova. After an 18-month title drought, Kuznetsova won the Tier I Tournament in Miami on April 1, 2006, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3. At the French Open, Kuznetsova defeated 17 year old Czech Nicole Vaidisova in a semifinal 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2 but lost in the final to Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-4, 6-4.
Kuznetsova survived a first round match against Czech Kveta Peschke at Wimbledon in 2006, but lost in the third round to Na Li. After a month lay off because of an abdominal injury, Kuznetsova returned to the tour at the Tier I event in Montreal. She lost a close two set match to Martina Hingis in a quarterfinal. At her next tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, Kuznetsova lost in a semifinal to eventual champion Henin-Hardenne. At the 2006 U.S. Open, Kuznetsova reached the fourth round where she lost to Jelena Jankovic.
Since then, Kuznetsova has won titles at the Tier III event in Bali, beating Marion Bartoli in the final, and the Tier II China Open in Beijing, defeating Mauresmo in the final.
Year Championship Position Opponent Score
2004 U.S. Open Champion Elena Dementieva 6-3, 7-5
2006 French Open Runner-Up Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-4, 6-4

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